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School of Environment and Natural Resources


EPN Presents Cleaning Up America's Rivers

Feb 24, 2015, 7:30am - 9:45am

EPN and American Electric Power welcome Chad Pregracke, President and Founder of Living Lands and Waters, and CNN's Hero of the Year 2013, who will present Cleaning Up America's Rivers.

At age 22, Chad started cleaning up the Mississippi River near his East Moline, IL home.  He and the Living Lands and Waters organization he ultimately founded have attracted 70,000 volunteers and many sponsors now working on 17 rivers.  Not yet 40, he is still working hard, and was named CNN’s Hero of the Year for 2013.

This event will be held in the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. Register to attend at

As the founder of America’s only “industrial strength” river clean-up organization and the 2013 CNN Hero of the Year, Chad Pregracke, tells a compelling and funny story about growing up on the river and how his river experiences led to his unique vision to clean up the Mississippi River and start an internationally recognized not-for-profit, Living Lands & Waters

During his hour-long talk, Chad takes the audience out on one of the world’s greatest rivers – a journey filled with endless challenges and gripping adventures. His delivery is motivating, captivating, genuine and refreshingly spontaneous.

From the darkness of underwater shell-diving to the brightness of open-air community clean-ups, Chad’s tale embodies the importance of setting goals (one river and one piece of garbage at a time) and illustrates how determination, hard-work and persistence pays off.